By a Newsnet reporter
Former Dundee East MP and Dundee council leader, Iain Luke, has resigned from the Labour party in protest after former SNP leader Gordon Wilson was blocked from re-joining the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) board of directors.
According to the Courier newspaper, the move follows a bitter row over same-sex marriage at the group’s annual meeting. Mr Luke said there had been an unfair plot by CAB Labour party members to remove his former SNP political opponent who opposes the idea of same-sex marriage.
Although he did not agree with Mr Wilson’s views, Mr Luke said the episode had soured his opinion of the Labour party and he would be unlikely to ever vote Labour again – certainly not at local government level.
Mr Luke has been a Labour party member for 33 years – was selected as the Labour candidate and elected as MP for Dundee East seat in 2001.
Mr Luke said: “After the meeting I tendered my resignation as a Labour party member to the constituency secretary.
“It was clear there had been political motivation behind the annual general meeting. I believe their intention was to get Gordon Wilson off the board for political reasons and for his views on same-sex marriages.
“Although I do not agree with Mr Wilson on same-sex marriages I believe he should be given the right to make his views.”
Mr Luke added: “The sectarian nature of that meeting and the obvious political plan for Labour party members to shout him down was out of order.”
Mr Luke said the decision to resign from the party marked a “sad day”.
“I come from a strong Labour family and represented the party for many years. But my view now is that Labour has completely changed from the party I originally joined.”
Martin Keenan, chairman of the Dundee West Constituency Labour Party (CLP) denied there had been a Labour party plot to block Mr Wilson.
He said: “Whatever went on in the AGM had nothing to do with the Labour party. Certainly Dundee West CLP at no point discussed this meeting.”
He added: “If there was a political motivation then it was carried out on an individual party member basis.”